Quiet Man Provides CG Elephant for GE’s Singin’ in the Rain Spot
The next phase was lighting, which was also done in SOFTIMAGE|XSI using one source of bright sunlight. Passes were created for shadows cast by the trees and leaves in the jungle against the elephant and then the elephant's shadows on the jungle floor. Live-action rain effects on the set had to be blended in with 3D rain effects on the surface of the elephant.
Rivel created diffusion passes to retouch the elephant's skin color, reflective passes to reflect light and water elements and specular passes to highlight the play of light and shadow across the elephant's skin.
He also created volumetric lighting passes to compensate for the lighting environment above the jungle that alternated between cloudy and bright sunlight.
Once all of the 3-D elements were finished, they were each rendered separately in mental ray in XSI and then integrated into the final animation. Quiet Man uses a render farm of 30 workstations, running Royal Render.
The final animation was then composited with the live-action plates in Discreet Inferno and Flame.
Quiet Man credits include:
Animation Director/Effects Supervisor Johnnie Semerad
Lead Animators Boris Ustaev, Anderson Ko
Animators Sandor Toledo, Sam Cuttriss, Chip Lotierzo, Michael Lasker, Steve Parish
CGI Supervisor/Technical Director Kris Rivel
Assistant Set Supervisor Dave Bernkopf
Inferno Effect Artists Steve Koenig, Kim Harvey, Karen Heston, Charles Quinn, Chris Coleman, Peter Sidoriak, Lauren Hanson
Exec Producer Steve Holiner
Quiet Man (www.quietman.com) specializes in creating seamless visual effects, and has played a key role in creating some of advertising's most familiar visual techniques, metaphors and clichés. Their award-winning work on HBO's CHIMPS spot ushered in a rash of talking animal commercials.